MISS MOOX + time


A few weeks ago, I went through a crisis of faith.

It wasn't the "do I believe in God or not" sort. But it was a crisis, in the sense of a tipping point.

Personally, in my times with God, I was meeting with him, intangible reality beyond but more real than the physically measurable. I felt like I was filled with his love, experienced his presence, tasted joy, faith, and freedom. But when it came down to practical matters, could and would God act on my behalf? Or were my feelings just that: simply feel-good illusions?

I was facing a need for housing. More specifically, a place to live in the town where I work and spend most of my time, by November 1, within my price range. Scanning the local classifieds and Craigslist brought no success. The few places I'd looked at were out of my price range or unsuitable.

A family in my church had offered to rent their guest room, but I was feeling a "no" on many fronts. They were having relatives over for Thanksgiving and I'd have to vacate it then. That and many other small factors combined to make it undesireable, though I'd determined to move there if nothing else came up.

Then, I happened to be speaking with another family from my church and mentioned my search for a place. "Oh, we might be able to have you," the wife said immediately. "Let me talk to my husband about it and we'll let you know."

I'd stayed with them briefly before, and knew the room they had available was very suitable. In a time of prayer about my need, I'd felt quietly deep in my heart that that was the right place to go, and I'd take it if they offered. But a couple of weeks had gone by without an answer, and my well-spaced calls to find out what was happening were met with, "Oh, we haven't had time to discuss it yet. But we will and we'll let you know as soon as possible."

Finally, I'd had enough. November was rapidly approaching and I had no definite or suitable place to go. At that point I cried out to God. "God, you know I've been experiencing you personally in such a dramatic way. But I need to know if those are just psychological feelings, or are you going to come through for me in an objective, tangible way? If you're God, if you're alive, you can and will provide for me in this area. Do it, God."

For me, this was what it came down to: if God was real, if what I'd been experiencing was truly him and not just a psychological coping mechanism, he'd do something that affected my life. He wouldn't just meet me in my quiet times with him, he'd take care of me. How could he provide for my spiritual needs and not my physical? You can't touch feelings. You can't quantify emotions. But if he came through for me in this area, I'd know what I was experiencing was real. If God was my Father, he had to.

And he did. A couple of days after this prayer, I went for my usual lunchtime prayer walk and poured it all out to God again, letting him know that I needed a place to live. I literally got back to work, sat down at my desk, and the phone rang. It was the lady who'd offered me the place conditional on her husband's agreement, calling to say it was mine. They'd talked about it and agreed to allow me to stay for at least six months, at the same price I had been paying at my previous rental.

I was amazed. And thankful. And a crisis of faith passed with God confirming that he was true. I can't say how big it was: a Father who hugs and kisses and tells his daughter all the time that he loves her, but who won't pay her school fees or make her lunch, is no father at all. I'm glad to know God isn't like that. I needed to know it, personally.

I moved in last weekend. I'm very grateful for a genuinely nice place to live, with people from my church, back in the town I need to be in, at a price I can afford. It's been an enormous improvement. It's tangible evidence, to me, that God hears. And he answers.

Philip Yancey has an excellent article in Christianity Today about wrestling with God in prayer. Why God respects it, how some of the greatest heroes of our faith engaged in it. I highly recommend it.

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